Saturday, April 30, 2011

Strawberry pie, gluten-free, ACD friendly

Strawberry-fruit pie, ACD friendly
I can't eat a lot of fruit on the ACD diet so I stick to the low-glycemic ones, like strawberries, blueberries, kiwis and papayas. For Mother's Day, I've been thinking I want to treat myself to strawberry pie because strawberries are in season.

I wanted to have the recipe perfected by Mother's Day so I started practicing early. The result was a strawberry-fruit pie with all my other low-glycemic favorite fruits added. The recipe is easily adaptable to any kind of fruit and could be made with strawberries only.

Strawberry-Kiwi-Blueberry-Papaya (or whatever kind of fruit) Pie: ACD friendly

Ingredients for the filling:
  1. 1 pint strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  2. 1 cup blueberries
  3. 1-2 kiwis peeled and sliced
  4. Fruit of one small papaya, diced
  5. 2 T. agar agar
  6. 1 3/4 cups water + 1/4 cup lemon juice
  7. stevia to taste 
Ingredients for the crust:
  1. 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  2. 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  3. 1/4 cup sunbutter, unsweetened (or tahini or almond butter may be used)
  4. 2 T. cacao nibs

Prepare the crust by grinding the sunflower seeds in a food processor. Add the coconut and nibs and continue to pulse. Fold in the sunbutter and blend the mixture until it sticks together. 

Press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. Allow to set while making the filling.

 Prepare and cut all the fruit, and evenly distribute in the pie pan. In a saucepan, bring to boil the water-lemon juice mixture with 2 T. agar agar. The liquid mixture will begin to thicken slightly like gelatin. The majority of the thickening will occur after the liquid is cooled.

Allow the liquid to cool slightly and then pour over the fruit. Place the pie in the fridge to set.

As a variation, you can make individual pies by distributing the ingredients in smaller containers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter treats-ACD friendly

Haystacks, upper left; chocolate-covered strawberries, upper right; sunbutter crunchy cup, right front; quinoa chocolate cookies, left front.

There will be no Cadbury eggs for me this Easter but at least I have some ACD-friendly treats stashed in the freezer that will quell my longing for an Easter basket of goodies. The good thing about these treats is they can be made with either chocolate or carob, depending on your sensitivities.

I purchased some dried gooseberries and mulberries from Navitas Naturals. They are dried without added sugars or preservatives. They became the inspiration for the Chocolate Haystacks.

Chocolate or carob haystacks

Let your food sensitivities guide you in making this recipe. You can use chocolate or carob.

1 4-ounce chocolate bar, 100 percent cacao (or substitute 1 cup carob chips)

1 cup trail mix (toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries; include nuts if tolerated)

Dash of powdered stevia or 1 T. maple sugar

Optional: 1 T. coconut oil to make it easier to pour

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Drop tablespoons of trail mix about 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Melt chocolate or carob (with coconut oil if desired) in a small saucepan. Add sweetener. Stir until chocolate or carob has melted.

Spoon the chocolate or carob evenly over each pile of trail mix on the baking sheet. Add additional piles of trail mix and spoon on chocolate/carob until all is used up.

Refrigerate haystacks until they are hardened. Store them in a container in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.

Crunchy Chocolate or carob sunbutter cups

¾ cup sunbutter

¾ cup crumbs made from homemade quinoa chocolate cookies (pictured above) or substitute gluten-free graham crackers

dash of powdered stevia

1 4-ounce baking bar 100 percent cacao with 1 T. coconut oil or substitute 1 cup nondairy chocolate or carob chips melted with ¼ cup dairy beverage (soy, rice, hemp or nut milk)

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Soften sunbutter and add crumbs, and sweetener. Remove from heat and divide evenly among muffin cups, about 2 T. per treat.

In another saucepan, melt chocolate or carob chips, combined with dairy beverage. Or melt 100 percent cacao bar with 1 T. coconut oil and add a pinch of stevia. Stir until smooth.

Spoon chocolate/carob mixture evenly over sunbutter in muffin cups. Top with seeds or nuts if desired.

Refrigerate until firm. Store them in a container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Chocolate or carob-covered strawberries

Use up any extra melted chocolate or carob from the recipes above to coat fresh or frozen strawberries. Or mix up more of the chocolate mixture from the haystack recipe to coat a batch of strawberries.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Choco sunbutter bars with sweet potato

Choco sunbutter sweet potato bars
Easter is coming up and I'm thinking chocolate! Of course, my Easter treat has to be whole grain plus free of eggs, soy, nuts, dairy, sugar, corn, potatoes and gluten. That seems like a pretty tall order but I think I created a keeper, at least for me. My choco sunbutter bars include a crust made from black quinoa, amaranth flour, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut and cacao nibs. The filling is a blend of sweet potatoes, sunbutter, cocoa powder, cacao nibs and coconut. It's yummy slightly frozen.

Choco Sunbutter Bars with Sweet Potato

Ingredients for Crust:
  1. 1/2 cup black quinoa, ground into coarse flour in a coffee grinder
  2. 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  3. 1/2 cup each toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  4. Pinch of sea salt
  5. 1 T. cocoa powder
  6. Powdered stevia to taste
  7. 1 T. shredded, unsweetened coconut
  8. 1 T. cacao nibs
  9. 3 T. olive oil
  10. 1/4 cup + cold water
Ingredients for Filling:
  1. 2 baked and peeled large sweet potatoes
  2. 2 T. unsweetened sunbutter
  3. 2 T. cocoa powder
  4. Optional: 1 T. shredded, unsweetened coconut
  5. Optional: 1 T. cacao nibs
  6. Powdered stevia to taste
  7. 1 cup unsweetened, plain hemp milk
  8. 2 T. ground flax mixed with 5 T. hemp milk
  9. Pinch of sea salt
Directions for Crust:
Grind the black quinoa into a coarse flour in a coffee grinder. Toast the seeds in a large skillet. Once the seeds are cool, finely grind them in a food processor. Add the cacao nibs and coconut and continue pulsing to grind. Add the flours, stevia, cocoa powder and blend. Remove and reserve 1/4 cup of the dry mixture for the topping. Put the rest into a large bowl. Add the oil and water, and mix with a fork until combined. Pat the mixture into a sprayed 8 X 8-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes or so in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Remove and cool.

Directions for the Filling:
Microwave the sweet potatoes until tender. Allow to cool and peel. Put the sweet potatoes in the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the sunbutter, cocoa powder, salt, ground flax mixed with 5 T. hempmilk, 1 cup hempmilk,  optional coconut and cacao nibs, and blend until smooth. 

Pour the filling into the pan with the cooled crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle the reserved flour/cocoa mixture on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30+ minutes until a fork inserted comes out fairly clean.

Once the bars are cooled, cut into squares. Extras can be stored in the freezer for several weeks or more. And they are quite tasty slightly thawed out.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chocolate/black quinoa pudding

Chocolate black quinoa pudding

Black quinoa has such a nutty texture. It's become my favorite quinoa. I used it recently to create a delicious chocolate dessert but I admit I ate it for breakfast.

Black quinoa/chocolate pudding

  1. 1 cup black quinoa cooked according to instructions on package
  2. 2 T. cocoa powder
  3. 1 T. ground flax
  4. 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
  5. stevia to taste
  6. Add-ins: cacao nibs, blueberries, toasted pumpkin seeds,  toasted coconut
  1. Place cooked quinoa, hemp milk, flax, cocoa and stevia in a saucepan. Heat until mixture is thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in 1-2 T. cacao nibs.
  3. Garnish with blueberries, pumpkin seeds, coconut, additional cacao nibs when ready to serve.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sunbutter, sweet potato bars

Sunbutter, sweet potato bars
I've stayed free of colds and sinus issues for almost one year now thanks to following an anti-candida diet (ACD). My candida overgrowth was the result of taking too many broad spectrum antibiotics prescribed for sinus infections.My recommendation is: never take antiobiotics unless you absolutely have to! If you do, then make sure you load up on probiotics to replace the good bacteria killed off by the antibiotics. I'm still replenishing good bacteria one year later by taking probiotics.

One year later I'm still following a low-glycemic diet but find that I can lighten up just a bit by adding a few more good quality carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes. I combined sweet potatoes with my personal favorite, sunbutter, to create Sunbutter/Sweet Potato Bars. They are free of sugar and artificial sweeteners, eggs, dairy, gluten, soy, corn and nuts but they still have the texture of cheesecake and the taste of a peanut butter bar.

Sunbutter/Sweet Potato Bars

Filling Ingredients:
  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and pureed
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened hemp milk
  3. 2 T. unsweetened sunbutter
  4. powdered stevia (SweetLeaf is my personal favorite.)
  5. 2 flax eggs ( Usually made with 1 T. flax dissolved in 3 T. water. I used 2 T. Nutri-Flax ground flax seed powder dissolved in 4 T. hemp milk.)
  6. 1/2 tsp. salt
Crust Ingredients:
  1. 1/2 cup each toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  2. 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  3. 1/2 cup black quinoa, ground in a coffee grinder to a coarse flour
  4. 2 T. olive oil
  5. powdered stevia
  6. 2 T. + water

Grind seeds into a coarse powder in the food processor. Grind black quinoa in a coffee grinder. Add black quinoa flour, amaranth flour and stevia to seeds and pulse to mix. Remove all but 1/4 cup to a large bowl and add oil and water until the dough clings together. Press into a sprayed 8 X 8-inch pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

In the meantime, microwave sweet potatoes until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Cool and peel. Put sweet potatoes in food processor and puree. Add sunbutter, hemp milk, stevia, salt and flax eggs. Pulse until mixture is smooth and thickened.

Once crust is set, pour in filling mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle reserved flour mixture on top.

Return to the oven and bake another 30 minutes until filling is set. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Garnish with a teaspoon of chocolate sauce for an extra special treat.